Top Ten for VMware vSphere and Emulex Adapters
When next-generation servers are combined with expanded host capabilities and performance improvements in VMware® vSphere®, more business-critical applications can be virtualized and more virtual machines (VMs) can be run per physical server. The result is a requirement to access increasing amounts of data per host, using storage that is scalable and shareable. A Fibre Channel storage area network (SAN) based on the Fibre Channel protocol is the optimum solution.
Emulex is a leader in data center class storage connectivity and the 8Gb/s LPe12000 family is the eighth generation of LightPulse Fibre Channel HBAs. In addition to increased bandwidth, the LPe12000 uses fewer server resources than previous HBAs, maximizing server consolidation and minimizing CapEx investments for systems and OpEx costs for power, cooling and IT management.
Emulex OneConnect™ 10Gb/s Universal Converged Network Adapters (CNAs) support the Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) standard that allows the Fibre Channel protocol to be used over a high-speed lossless Ethernet network. The payoff is simplified cabling and reduced costs with a single set of adapters, cables and switches for SAN and LAN traffic. Emulex OneConnect OCe11102-F CNAs are included in the VMware Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) and drivers have been qualified for ESX through the VMware I/O Vendor Program (IOVP). Driver downloads are available from the VMware web site.
VMware vSphere adds support for iSCSI adapters that provide optimum efficiency with hardware offload for the iSCSI protocol and TCP/IP Offload Engine (TOE). The Emulex OneConnect OCe11102-I iSCSI adapter has 120% better CPU efficiency when compared to the OneConnect NIC adapter.
Next-generation multi-core servers provide the capacity to virtualize more servers and applications, lowering the cost per VM. VMware vSphere also provides increased scalability that fully utilizes the capabilities of these new servers.
With VMware vSphere, host system support was expanded to 64 cores, 1 TB of RAM and 512 virtual CPUs, and a VM hot plug feature allowed virtual CPUs and memory to be added to a running VM. VMware vSphere further expands scalability with “cloud scale” capabilities that include 3000 VMs per cluster, and 1000 hosts and 10,000 VMs per vCenter Server instance.
vStorage includes new APIs to enable VM integration of array-based capabilities with VMware Consolidated Backup and Site Recovery Manager. Additional APIs support advanced load balancing features for multi-path solutions.
Thin provisioning allows virtual disks to be created with disk space allocated for future requirements, but with actual disk space only used as needed. The result is a significant improvement in disk usage efficiency. Alarms and reports are provided to track usage and prepare for storage expansion. Thin provisioning can reduce storage costs by up to 50%.
vStorage is fully supported with Emulex HBAs and CNAs.
VMware vSphere includes new capabilities to set storage quality-of-service (QoS). Using Storage I/IO Control, rules and policies can be configured to set the business priority for each VM. When I/O congestion is detected, I/O resources are dynamically allocated to VMs based on QoS priorities.
The in-box Emulex Common Interface Model (CIM) provider communicates with a CIM client in the Emulex OneCommand Manager management application, providing online management of HBAs and CNAs for ESXi servers. OneCommand Manager enables comprehensive reporting, optimizing and troubleshooting of Emulex adapters throughout the network from a single console.
OneCommand Manager also provides detail for virtual ports (VPorts) and VMs, showing the relationship between physical ports, VPorts and VMs. VMware vCenter includes added visibility to shared storage through customizable reports and topology maps, and improves storage management with new per-VM and datastore reporting.
OneCommand Vision provides proactive I/O management for vSphere deployments. Using OneCommand Vision, IT administrators can maximize network resource utilization, manage performance and availability, and assess I/O infrastructure requirements by monitoring and analyzing physical and virtual I/O layers. This includes adapters, fabrics and array end-points. While virtualization technologies have introduced greater flexibility, they’ve also made detection of I/O bottlenecks more difficult. Virtualized servers still depend on the physical infrastructure and critical I/O issues that affect applications running in virtual machines can be masked. OneCommand Vision is the ideal solution to effectively resolve these issues to maintain optimum application performance and availability. OneCommand Vision is designed for use in heterogeneous network environments, providing interoperability with Emulex and non- Emulex adapters. It leverages a distributed deployment model that delivers superior scalability and a comprehensive global view of I/O health status.
VMDirectPath delivers maximum I/O performance for VMs by enabling direct access from a guest OS to an I/O device. VMs must access storage using Raw Device Mapping (RDM) and an HBA port must be exclusively dedicated to a VM. VMDirectPath uses Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d), which was first supported with the Intel® Xeon® 5500 Processor Family.
N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) allows a physical adapter port to be logged in to a fabric switch as multiple virtual ports (VPorts), with each VPort having a unique virtual worldwide port name (WWPN) and identity on the SAN.
VMs can be created and connected to SAN storage using an NPIV-based VPort. This allows each VM to have unique support for key SAN features, including zoning, LUN masking, backup, chargeback and QoS management.
OneCommand Manager provides new detail for VMs that are associated with VPorts, allowing administrators to readily see the relationship between VMs, VPorts and physical ports.